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Bangladesh ferry death toll rises to more than 100

By Farid Ahmed and Sumnima Udas, CNN
March 14, 2012 -- Updated 1313 GMT (2113 HKT)
Rescue workers search for missing passengers Tuesday after a ferry accident in Bangladesh's Munshiganj district.
Rescue workers search for missing passengers Tuesday after a ferry accident in Bangladesh's Munshiganj district.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • At least 112 bodies have been recovered, the police chief in charge of the rescue says
  • The police chief cannot say how many people were on board the ferry
  • A survivor says six of his family members are still missing
  • Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) -- At least 112 bodies have been recovered after a packed ferry capsized in Bangladesh, police said Wednesday.

At least 35 survivors have been rescued, said local police chief Shahabuddin Khan, who is supervising the rescue operation.

Khan could not say how many people were on the ferry when it sank early Tuesday in southern Bangladesh.

The MV Shariatpur-1 sank in the Meghna River after colliding with a cargo ferry while passengers slept, a survivor said.

"We were seven in a cabin in the ferry, and six of my family members are still missing," Mohammad Dulal Dewan told CNN Tuesday.

"Everything happened before I could understand anything."

The 55-year-old survivor said he "jumped into the river and was rescued by people in another passing ferry."

Dewan and his family were traveling to Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital, to see his brother-in-law off to the United States. Shamim Fakir was scheduled to fly on his U.S. trip early Wednesday, Dewan said. He was still missing Tuesday evening.

Khan, the police chief, said Tuesday that divers from the Bangladesh navy and the Fire Service and Civil Defence took part in the operation alongside police and the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority.

About 30 people were initially rescued after the ferry collided with the cargo boat on the river in Munshiganj district, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Dhaka. The ferry was traveling to the nation's capital from Shariatpur district.

Ferry accidents are common on Bangladesh's vast river network. Hundreds of people die in such accidents every year as the operators often ignore rules. Nearly 4,000 people are estimated to have lost their lives in ferry accidents since 1977.

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